NFL Office Pool Picks Week 6
Another week of football, which means another week of office pool action for us to decode. A solid month into the season we should, at least theoretically, have some things figured out. We should know which teams are good and which are less so. But, of course, this is the NFL, so things never quite work out that way. If things were that easy then sportsbooks would be in broken-down old trailers, not lavish hotels. And TV ratings would be pathetic - why would people watch games if they already know how they are going to turn out? So, accepting that we don't know as much as we would like to, here's how this week's action looks from where I'm sitting. As usual, these are all straight up plays - no point spreads here.
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Philadelphia at New York Giants: The Eagles are in the midst of a serious Super Bowl hangover and would be at serious risk of missing the playoffs if the rest of their division weren't so incompetent. They have a lot of issues, but at least they have a QB. The Giants just have an empty shell of a guy who was once good at times. Take the Eagles.
Indianapolis at New York Jets: Ugly game since neither team is any good. New York been less bad more often and can play a bit of defense. And they are at home. Take the Jets.
Carolina at Washington: Alex Smith really made it hard to believe in him after his debacle of an outing last week. Man, was that ugly. Carolina is still not firing on all cylinders, and you have to wonder what is wrong with them. But to have some issues and still be 3-1 is a good place to be. Take the Panthers.
Seattle vs. Oakland: I don't know what the poor people of London did to deserve a game this lousy. Neither team is going anywhere fast, and both have coaches who are struggling to perform anywhere near their mighty reputations right now. There is close to nothing to like about either team. Seattle is the betting favorite, and we'll let that be the deciding factor on a neutral field. Take the Seahawks.
Arizona at Minnesota: Minnesota was so good last year, had a solid offseason, and yet just can't do anything right this year. Football is hard. But as frustrating as they have been at times this year, they have much more talent and upside than their opponent here. Take the Vikings.
Tampa Bay at Atlanta: Tampa Bay has come crashing down to earth after their first two stellar games. But the Falcons are a broken team, with serious issues on both sides of the ball. I have no faith in either team, but we're going to go for the upset and take the Bucs.
L.A. Chargers at Cleveland: The Chargers have been less than expected to date. The Browns are ahead of schedule. On paper L.A. should have this one, but the magic of Baker Mayfield is real, and the game is in Cleveland. Take the Browns.
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati: Pittsburgh has plenty of issues and can't get out of their own way. But the Bengals aren't nearly as good as their record suggests, and this is where they get exposed. Take the Steelers.
Buffalo at Houston: Buffalo looks truly lousy unless they look quite good. The Texans just look uniformly underwhelming. This is another game where we would take the home team regardless of which squad it was. That means we take the Texans .
Chicago at Miami: Chicago is playing competent enough offense and potent defense. I don't trust it to last for the whole season, but it is working now. And they match up well against a Miami team that lacks consistency. Take the Bears.
L.A. Rams at Denver: The Rams are the best team in the league. The Broncos really, really aren't. Denver doesn't have an offensive line, so Case Keenum is going to get eaten alive. And Denver's defense is not nearly up to the challenge of facing this L.A. machine, either. Take the Rams.
Jacksonville at Dallas: The Jaguars don't have much of an offense right now, and that's a concern. But the Cowboys aren't good at anything, and Jacksonville has a very significant coaching edge. Take the Jaguars.
Baltimore at Tennessee: These squads have identical records, but they sure don't feel like identical teams. Tennessee is tough to score against, but they find it just as hard to score. Baltimore has played a little better on defense and a whole lot better on offense. This shouldn't be that close. Take the Ravens.
Kansas City at New England: This one is interesting. Last week the Chiefs took on an elite defense, struggled with it, and still won handily. Now they face a far inferior defense, but a far better coach, and the best QB on the planet. Playing at New England is truly brutal. But the Chiefs are very legitimate. I'll take the Patriots because they are at home and because their coaches have plenty of tricks up their sleeves, but I don't feel great about it. This game could turn out any number of ways - but entertainment is almost guaranteed. Take New England.
San Francisco at Green Bay: The Packers are not in a great place right now, and their coaching staff is seemingly trying really hard to be fired. But we have no choice but to back them at home against a troubled squad. Take the Packers.
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